Originally posted 11-27-10 at 7:56 pm CST.
I translated some of the Hebrew and Yiddish terms used by Sholom Rubashkin to make reading this easier for those of you unfamiliar with them. My translations are found in square brackets. Otherwise, the letter appears as Chabad.info published it.
What is most striking to me is that nowher in this letter does Sholom Rubashkin admit guilt or in any way express remorse for what he did:
Sholom Mordechai Ponders Redemption
In honor of the day of liberation, Yud Tes Kislev, Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin sent out a letter from his Otisville prison looking forward to his day of redemption.
Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin • Chabad.info
21 Kislev 5771 (28.11.2010)
In Honor of Yud Tes Kislev,
Dovid Hamelech says in Tehilim, "PODOH BESHOLOM NAFSHI KI BERABIM HOYU IMODI," the Tefillah of the Rabim helps for the Pediyah Bepashtus.
Yud Tes Kislev is the Yoim Toiv of the liberation of the Alter Rebbe [Schneer Zaman of Liyadi, the first Chabad rebbe], The day of liberation is mesugal for all liberations. It's also the same day of the Yahrtzeit of his Rebbe, the Magid of Mezritch, The Geulah [redemption, being freed from prison] of the Alter Rebbe came at the moment he was saying Tehilim - he was saying the Posuk "Podoh Besholoim Nafshi" when he was notified of his freedom.
In the absence of anybody to Farbreng [hasidic gathering; used a verb, the act of leading or participating in a hasidic gathering] with, I tried to write some thought on chassidus, what it is, etc. but it came out like a learning session and I really just want to Farbreng.
As I sit here , still in the, arrest, prison, mode of my story, I try to relate to the day of Chag Hageulah, the Yoim Tov of liberation and freedom. I know Beezras Hashem my liberation will come, and Hahsem will listen to all our Tefillois, like Dovid Hamelech says "KI BERABIM HOYU IMODI" that the Yidden (even the anshei avsholoim) all were Davening for him, that's how he had the "PODOH BESHOLOIM NAFSHI" and I will be free and reunited with my family and all Yidden. I know that the day of Geulah of the Alter Rebbe is the start and the pathway for my Geulah [redemption, release from prison] and all Yidden's Geulah [the coming of the messiah]. Geulah means liberation, in the simple term, going out of prison.
I think about the story of Yud Tes Kislev, and I learn Sichos and Maamorim [transcribed talks and hasidic discourses of the late Lubavitcher rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson], those that I have. I say the Tehilim, and I focus intensely on the pesukim of "PODOH BESHOLOIM NAFSHI" and i await the notice of my release and liberation. Obviously, I have Baruch Hashem, said these pesukim many times before, but, now they have a whole new meaning for me.
I think of two major points in the story of the Alter Rebbe.
One: It is clear that it is the Ruchniusdiker Kitrug [spiritual decree] in shomayim [heaven] that is the real cause for the incarceration in this world. It was due to the Alter Rebbe's insistence to spread out the teaching of Chassidus that caused the imprisonment of the Alter Rebbe and it was only through the Teffilois and the Avoidah of the Yidden that made the liberation a reality.
Two: the Alter Rebbe is teaching us all, how to liberate ourselves spiritually, and through that, physically. It's in the Posuk of Tehilim that he was saying when he was notified of his release he is teaching how every yid can have their own personal liberation.
Like in the story of the Alter Rebbe, every Yid must recognize that everything that is happening to him physically is only a reflection of what is happening in the spiritual worlds.
Everything in this world has two parts, its chitzoinius and its penimius. These are not two separate things but actually they are one being. Like the Guf and Neshama that make up one person. As everything comes from TOIRAH there is Nigleh of Toirah and Nistar of Toirah they are not two separate parts rather they are ONE TOiRAH.
When the Neshama is revealed in the Guf, when the Nesama is allowed to express itself, that is the liberation of the person. Otherwise, if the Neshama is not allowed to be revealed the person is actually it his own confinement or prison.
In the Neshama there are levels, those Koichois of the Neshama that are revealed and seen, and the essence of the Neshama that is hidden and needs to be revealed. Chasidus teaches us how to reveal the Etzem Hanshama, our real essence. When the Etzem Hanshama is revealed, there is Sholoim, then the person has his Pediyah, liberation from prison spiritually and that will bring the liberation physically.
Podh Besholoim Nafshi
The Alter Rebbe explains, that true Liberation comes when its from "Sholoim". Sholoim means that there are no opposing parties that exist, when all agree to want the same, then there is the Sholoim.
Simply put in Avoidah:
We have many Koichois how we function. When all the Koichois are in harmony to serve Hashem then the Neshama is free from all and any constraints and imprisonments of the Yetzer Hara.
The Koiach of Sechel: we learn Toirah and we understand that we need to do mitzvois. Our Sechel is whole with Hashem. But that is not Sholoim yet. Avoidah to Hashem that is based on Reason, because that's how its understood, there still is no real Sholom because there is the ability to understand differently. Therefore, in the world of Sechel, or reason, there is an opposing party or idea that can come later. A person is not liberated by serving Hashem only with reason.
The koiach of Rotzoin: Even when a Yid's Avoidah to Hashem is based on his Rotzoin, higher than any reason, when he clearly only wants Hashem because that's his Rotzoin, that means that he overpowers any desires or urges that are not for Hashem by his WILLPOWER. Although there is only the desire for Hashem, it's not a total Sholoim, because, its the strong will, or Rotzoin that exists now, that is the reason for no opposition, but, if that will power were to leave, there is the possibility of a change in the Rotzoin to Hashem. And as long as there is even the possibility of change of the will of the Yid, there is still no Sholoim.
The Koiach of Yechidah: Chasidus reveals the essence and the Penimius of the Yid and shows the Yid how to serve Hashem with his Yechidah, The Mitteler says that EVERY YID can serve Hashem with their Yechidah.
Yechidah is the part of the Neshama that has no opposing force. Yechidah is not overpowering anything, because there in Yechidah there is nothing else, by Yechida there can not be any Rotzoin other than Hashem. Yechidah is what the Yid IS, a "chelek Eloka memaal mamosh."
"Podoh Besholoim Nafshi", there is Sholoim when Yechidah is revealed because that can't change. The Yid's essence, Neshama, is one with Hahsem, and that can never change. A person cannot change what he IS.
KI BERABIM HOYU IMODI that the Tefillois of the RABIM help in PODOH BESHLOIM NAFSHI.
Chassidus teaches us how to reveal our essence, our Yechidah. Chasidus teaches us who we are and reveals the unlimited strength of Yechidah, to all our other Koichois Hanefesh of Sechel, Middos and Rotzoin, that is why the Chosid is not intellectually dull or unemotional. Yechidah is infused, and brightens our understanding. We start understanding greater levels of Hashem what was before beyond our bounds, now we can understand and feel. We are able to understand and connect to Lemaaleh Mehagbala, no limits, is the whole concept of what liberation is also.
I would like to thank all of you and all the Yidden for saying Tehilim, Davening, increasing in Toirah and Mitzvois, for my Zechus, that I could merit a Geulah Protis and together we will all go to our Geulah Klolis with Moshiach Tzidkeinu, AMEN
Sholoim Mordechai Halevi [Rubashkin]